Qualifying members of the Scioto County 4-H group will soon head to the Ohio State Fair Junior Horse Show.

Leslie Johnson | Courtesy

COLUMBUS—Thirteen local 4-H members have qualified for the Ohio State Fair Junior Horse Show.

From July 18 until July 22, qualifying members will gather at the Ohio Exposition Center in Columbus to show their horses in various categories of competitive skill. Categories showcasing obstacle riding, racing, reinsmanship, roping and showmanship are just some of the competitive categories to be featured over the five-day competitive calendar.

Abbie Mowen, Scioto County 4-H extension educator, said that qualifying members had to participate in a “points/performance against the standard show,” which was held at the end of June for Scioto County. Within each class, children had two chances to qualify with their earned points before they could qualify for advancement to the state finals.

Mowen said that the Scioto County show held about 40 categories for qualification. Because so many children across the state participate in the Ohio State Fair Junior Horse Show, those categories expand to about 140.

“These kids will be showing pretty much all week during various days which will be their show days. It’s really cool to see how big [a show] it is that these kids get to compete for,” she added.

“Within the horse program, there are specific shows that you have to meet a standard, and there are only specific judges who can judge those shows,” Mowen explained. “We brought in two judges [to the Scioto County show], and the kids only get two chances to qualify in each class. So they must meet or exceed the minimum points required, then they’re eligible to go participate at the state level. It’s pretty intense, especially for that show.”

For some children in the Scioto County 4H chapter, Mowen said that qualifying was sometimes missed by a point or two. But the supportive and encouraging community of volunteers, family, and 4H mentors was there to help them at every turn.

“Whenever you saw a kiddo walk up and see their score card only to have missed [qualifying] by one point, the complete devastation; or them coming up and seeing that their name was highlighted on that score sheet, then turning around and hugging their parents or going and telling all of their friends—that shows the gravity of what this means to them, one way or the other. The volunteers and friends who surround them, that’s something else that is really cool,” said Mowen.

Scioto County is ready to cheer on those who qualified for the Ohio State Fair Junior Horse Show: Lexie Johnson, Laine Johnson, Austin Frantz, Elaine Cook, Tatum Underwood, Brooklyn Pierce, Mary Beth Sherman, Shay Wilson, Drew DeGonzague, Chandler McCoy, Hannah Hutchinson, Dalton Wright, and Austin Pfau will soon take their talents to Columbus in various qualifying events.

Mowen is proud that the children will represent the values taught by 4H on behalf of Scioto County.

“At its core, 4H has such great values for today’s youth. We see leadership values, we see kids being encouragers, being teachers—they will help one another. The 4H motto is, ‘to make the best better.’ And these kids are constantly stiriving to do that, year to year from doing projects. You see a lot of hard work—a small kiddo with a bucketful of water because they’ve got to get it to their animal and the sweat they’re putting into [caring for] their animal—it’s visibly there, what it’s doing for the kids,” Mowen said.

For more information and updates about the Ohio State Fair Junior Horse Show, or to learn more about Scioto County 4-H, follow their Facebook page: Ohio State—Scioto County 4-H.